Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I was in grade four.
The year was 1998. I was sitting at my desk one afternoon, staring off into space (as one tends to do while sitting in class–0r at least what I did), and I was thinking about where I would be ten or twenty years from then.
I would be grown up. What would I become?
Would I be pretty? Would I be rich? Here’s what she s—Ah… Sorry, I won’t go down that path.
I don’t really know how I visualized myself as an adult. All I really knew about was doing ambiguous adult things: having a job, owning a home, driving a car, and maybe… Just maybe… Marriage??
Well, flash forward to 2016 (soon to be 2017, ahem). Even though the 90s were nearly twenty (twenty..!!) years ago expectations have changed. Sort of. And I guess so have my own, over the last decade. SO, how did I visualize myself as an adult before I became adult? Let’s see… And compare them with results.
Childhood expectations (or, what I visualized while playing with my barbies) versus reality:
- Wearing lots of sparkly dresses. Nope. I can only wish I could wear sparkly dresses today and not get stares from strangers. Or creeps.
- Going to important meetings for god knows what at god knows what kind of job I visualized. Because I seemed to gather that people went to important business meetings that involved sitting around a table, sipping coffee and yelling.
- Not paying any bills, because I had no idea what they were. Such innocence!
- Living in a fancy house. Hahahaha SO WRONG.
- Going out to swanky galas fit for my barbie games. Um, still no. I’m ten times more likely to stay home in my sweats and snuggle with the dog than venture outside. That, I have no swanky galas I’ve been invited to. Much to my regret.
- Driving a cool car that flew. Because, millennium?
Slightly more refined teenage expectations (with the only difference being the barbies missing):
- Out of Mom and Dad’s place and on my own by mid twenties. Again… SO WRONG. SO WRONG IT ACTUALLY KIND OF HURTS.
- University being the pinnacle of adulthood. Psssshh, it’s only the beginning, girl.
- Getting a well paying job straight out of university. My facial expression in response.
- The 20s being amazing and full of adventure. Amazing… At times. Stressful/lack lustre the other 70 percent.
- Knowing what I’m doing with my life. Eh… Still trying to work that one out? Right now it’s continues to be one big scribble.
- Guys falling at my feet. Didn’t have much luck in high school, but hopefully once I reached my 20s that would change? Now I’m just at a cross between hoping to find someone while avoiding anyone who makes eye contact.
- Getting married at 27. Wait a second… I AM 27.
- Working as an actor. Yes, this was actually one of my aspirations. Obviously not the case, but I still love putting on a good show. And British accents.
- Being a writer. Well, at least I can say this is still going!
So, it is a truth universally acknowledged that adulthood is never what you expected it to be. And why should it? Things are ever changing, and we are ever changing. If I could report back to myself in 1998, I would say to myself, “Buck up, kiddo, you’re in for a bumpy twenty years. Oh, and don’t stop writing. You’ll need it.” Then I would say no more and vanish. Because I am elusive like that.
But yes… The other moral of this blog post is that chances are, whatever interested you in childhood will likely follow you into adulthood. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing with your life, chances are the answer is there. You haven’t lost it, your inner child is just keeping it safe for you.
And if it hasn’t happened for you still, I hope you have a glorious moment of discovery. As Walt Whitman once wrote,
“The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.”
As if he couldn’t inspire me any more!
Quote from here.